Tripping out in Second Life

It isn’t every day that one enters an art installation comes with a health warning. Yet that’s exactly what you get with Thoth Jantzen’s Mediamorphosis, the notecard for which opens:

Seriously, If you suffer from epilepsy or are otherwise adversely affected by flashing lights and colours, do NOT play media here.  You won’t get the proper experience, but you may just survive!

"My God, it's full of stars!" - a Bowman-like start to Mediamorphosis
“My God, it’s full of stars!” – a Bowman-like start to Mediamorphosis

This is a fully immersive multimedia presentation which features a mix of music, particle effects, set-pieces, art and a touch of interaction. There’s an extensive backstory to the piece, which forms a narrative and helps points the way towards explorations, but as Thoth points out, there are many ways through the piece (and several points where you can sit back and enjoy the show). Equally, while there is a certain depth and purpose to the piece, it’s not intended to be meaning-of-life deep.


The key thing with this piece is to make sure you have streaming media on and set to play all (if using a media filter) and use the local windlight (or set your viewer to midnight) and – explore.

When you arrive, you’ll find yourself in a white room with a single exit – the wormhole. Walk through – you’ll find the 2001 motifs clear – and the teleport to the exhibit proper in the form of one of the set pieces, the Hopper Cafe. Read the notecard offered and then follow the road. Along the way you’ll find pods you can jump into and enjoy a trippy little ride or two mixing particle effects, art and the various set-pieces, into an immersive show.


You can also spend time inside the Hopper Cafe and witness some of the show projected onto the windows, or you teleport to the other builds which make up the installation, where there are additional opportunities to sit and watch the light / image show. Just be aware that wherever you go – you have yourself become a part of the show for anyone else watching!

Metamorphosis is a piece which is hard to quantify. As the artist himself says in explanation of it, “Huh?  What..?” … It is a piece which should, by its nature, be experienced rather than described – although it’s certainly not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Or coffee, for that matter.


Ican only say enjoyed my time exploring and trying out the first-person pods and seats in which you hand over control of your camera to the scripts controlling the exhibit itself, leaving you with nothing to do but just enjoy (and the show is great with the lights out in the room!). Everything is looped, so “rides” take only a few minutes, although it is worth running through things a couple of times to enjoy the complete magical mystery tour.

If I have any complaint at all, it is that there should perhaps be more choice in the music – a loop of just three tracks which can be heard throughout one’s visit to the installation can start to get one’s teeth grinding by the time the fourth or fifth loop is reached…

However, this is just a niggle. Overall, Mediamorphosis is immersive, engaging, unusual and, well, trippy.

Go see for yourself.


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